12 Days of Christmas: Day 9 | 2017 | How to Deal with Grief During the Holidays
All of my 12 Days of Christmas posts have been very upbeat and festive so far. However, it’s time to get on a more serious note and talk about grieving during the holidays. This is something that affects almost every family, whether you’ve lost someone recently or it’s been years but the holidays are always just as hard.
Unfortunately, my family has lost many people in the past few years, with the most recent only being a few weeks ago. Loss, no matter how often it happens, never seems to get easier. While the hurt may always be there, and definitely worse during the holidays, there are some things you can do to manage it and still enjoy the holiday season.
Here are 12 tips for dealing with grief during the holidays.
Create a New Tradition
Doing something to honor your loved during the holidays is a great way to remember them, celebrate them, and do so happily.
Buy a Gift to Give to Charity
Buy a gift that you would have gotten for your loved one a donate it to charity. This is a great way to keep your loved one’s memory alive as well as doing something kind for the less fortunate.
See a Counselor
This could be helpful at anytime of the grieving process but with the feelings enhanced during the holiday season, now would be a good time to seek out a counselor and talk about how you’re feeling.
Play Holiday Music
This is a simple one to brighten your mood. Choose a few of your loved one’s favorites to play in memory of them and pick a few super cheerful ones to help get you in the holiday spirit.
This may be a difficult one but try to find one thing that you’re thankful for throughout the holiday season and celebrate that thing.
Holidays are all about giving to others, and sometimes that can even make you feel great. But, do something a little extra for yourself this year too. Treat yourself to a spa day, a short vacation, or even just a small gift that you’ve had your eye on for awhile. (A little retail therapy never hurts).
Ask for Help
If you want to still engage in your normal holiday activities such as hosting dinners and wrapping presents, but it is a little harder this year, don’t be afraid to ask your friends and family for a little extra help.
Donate Altar Flowers
If you’re religious and you attend any local churches or services, donate flowers to the location in memory of your loved one. This is a great way to honor your loved one as well as brighten up the place of worship for you and others.
Make a List
Grief and sadness makes it hard to concentrate and remember. Whether it’s all the things you need to do, the presents you need to buy, or the food you need to cook, making a list will help you remember everything and prioritize so you don’t feel overwhelmed.
Go to a Grief Group
Talking to other people and being able to relate to others that are experiencing the same things really does help. Joining a grief group will help you to work through your grief while talking to others and getting out of the house.
Listen to Yourself
So many people will try to offer advice and tell you how they think you should be handling your grief. While they only mean well and you can definitely accept their advice, don’t feel obligated to listen to every single thing people are telling you. Something may work for your friend that won’t work for you. Above all, listen to yourself first and figure out which advice to put into action.
Don’t Feel Guilty
This can go both ways- don’t feel guilty to be happy and enjoy the season, your loved one would want you to enjoy yourself. But also, don’t feel guilty if the holiday is just too much this year and you skip out on things like decorations and music. No matter how you’re feeling and how you choose to deal with your grief, it is completely valid and okay.
The holidays are rough when you lose a loved one. It may feel different and you may not want to be in the “holiday mood” at all. But try to take some of these tips and work through your grief while still making the most of the season.
Stay Strong everyone!